No architectural style arouses more hostility than brutalism. People are quick to deride the unlovable concrete blocks it has spawned in cities across the world. It's terribly unfair.
I love supporting the underdog, and this is why I welcome the debate currently happening in Britain about which brutalist buildings are worth saving. Last week, the government granted grade II listed status to Preston Bus Station and three other brutalist buildings, and last week, English Heritage launched an exhibition in London called "Brutal and Beautiful: Saving the Twentieth Century" to get people interested in this debate.
I don't think all brutalist buildings are worth saving because there are some truly hideous examples, but there are others in this style that are interesting and inspiring. We must keep some of these in our cities to show off the architectural style and technological innovation of the mid-20th century, even if we currently find them unimpressive.
With this in mind, I thought it'd be interesting to run down 20 of the most interesting brutalist buildings from around the world. Click on the photo below to start the slideshow:
Preston Bus Station in Preston, England
Preston Bus Station opened in 1969 and is still in use today. It was designed by Keith Ingham and Charles Wilson of Building Design Partnership with E.H. Stazicker, and last week gained grade II listed status. But Preston City Council did not welcome that news, saying it is "too big", "provides relatively poor facilities", and would cost up to £23 million (US$31 million) to refurbish.
(Source: 70023venus2009 via Flickr)
— Rich Heap, Community Editor, UBM's Future Cities